New generation of functional yogurts fermented with probiotic lactic acid bacteria isolated from human milk


  • Lusine Danielyan
  • Hrachya Hovhannisyan
  • Lusine Baghdasaryan
  • Andranik Barseghyan



Background: The cultures used in the production of "bio-yoghurts" typically consist of a blend of traditional yogurt starters, such as S. thermophilus and L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, along with probiotics like L. acidophilus, L. casei, L. reuteri, and Bifidobacterium spp. These probiotics, although beneficial, face challenges thriving in milk due to its short fermentation time (4–5 hours). The rapid acidification caused by the starter’s results in probiotic levels dropping below the "therapeutic minimum" during the intended refrigerated shelf life of the product. A potential solution to this issue lies in leveraging lactic acid bacteria isolated from the human milk which possess both robust probiotic characteristics and starter properties. Incorporating such strains in yogurt starter could address the acidity imbalance and contribute to maintaining optimal probiotic levels throughout the refrigerated shelf life of the product.

Objective: This research aims to develop a new generation of sustainable functional yoghurts suitable for consumers of all ages using as starters predominant probiotic lactic acid bacteria isolated from the breast milk of healthy women.

Results: This study marks the first implementation of the critical dilution culture method in sterile cow milk for the selection of predominant lactic acid bacteria (LABs) from women's breast milk. Remarkably, all samples yielded LAB capable of independently fermenting milk. Although breast milk is a good medium for the growth of residential lactic acid bacteria, it never coagulates due to low concentration of caseins. The isolated strains, identified as belonging to the species L. delbrueckii subsp. lactis, L. fermentum, L. casei subsp. sakei, Streptococcus thermophiles and Lactococcus lactis, exhibited probiotic and adaptive properties essential for gut colonization in humans. Utilizing symbiotic LAB starters were created functional yogurts with heightened technological, physicochemical, and sensory characteristics. 

Conclusions: Yogurts fermented using human milk LABs are safe and can be recommended as a functional dairy food, for pregnant women as well as for pre-term and full-term infants as a substitute/supplement for mother's milk. Moreover, these LABs can be included in infant formulas or used in pre-treatment of infant formula milk to improve its nutritional value and safety.

Keywords: Breast milk, lactic acid bacteria, probiotic, milk fermentation, functional yogurt





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